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[GreenYes] Fwd: Food scraps to fine wine. Unique program from San Francisco.

Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 18:41:48 EST
From: "Norcal Waste Systems, Inc." <>
Subject: Food scraps to fine wine. Unique program from San Francisco.

( BW)(CA-NORCAL-WASTE-SYSTEMS) Food Scraps to Fine Wine; Compost Made
With Food Scraps From San Francisco Restaurants Applied to 13

    Business/News Editors and Food/Wine Writers
    NOTE TO MEDIA:  Multimedia assets available
    A photo is available at URL:

    SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 18, 2002--

Diverse Feedstock Provides Microbes, Nitrogen and Other Soil Nutrients

    Vineyards in the heart of California's wine country, including
Napa, Sonoma, El Dorado and Mendocino counties, now use compost made
with food scraps from San Francisco's finest restaurants to improve
soil quality and grow better grapes for the production of fine wines.
    "We have to give back to the soil," says Linda Hale, Vineyard
Supervisor for Madrone Vineyard at Domenici Ranch in Sonoma County.
"The benefits that we will reap are incredible."
    Giving back is a primary goal of an unusual program that diverts
kitchen trimmings, plate scrapings and other compostable material from
fine restaurants, hotels, markets, delis and coffee shops. Over 1,400
food-related businesses and thousands of San Francisco residents
provide food scraps and other compostable material as part of the
program. These source materials create a very a diverse feedstock that
includes everything from crab shells and cantaloupe skins to steak
bones and half eaten sandwiches. The result is especially rich
compost, perfect for reconditioning soils after harvest.
    Compost made from the food scraps of San Francisco restaurants is
a beautiful sight in the eyes of vineyard managers. "We are trying to
enhance the soil microbial growth and by adding compost we can achieve
that," says Hale. "We can also increase the availability of nutrients
in the soil for the uptake of the plant. We can do this by adding this
very rich compost. Finally, we like to use organic material to
increase the soil tithe and porosity."
    Clarence Jenkins, owner of Madrone Vineyard Management in Sonoma
County, says, "You can't shortchange the soil. The Norcal compost is a
very good product and is very cost effective. We get better soil
structure and eventually because of that structure we will get better
    The Organic Material Review Institute, a nonprofit organization
whose primary mission is to publish and disseminate lists of materials
allowed and prohibited for use in the production, processing, and
handling of organic food and fiber, analyzed the finished compost and
determined it appropriate for use on organic farms.
    Everett Ridge Vineyards & Winery, an organic vineyard in
Healdsburg applied the compost to its soils in October. "It is some of
the best stuff I've ever seen," says Darek Trowbridge, Vineyard
Manager at Everett Ridge. Trowbridge appreciates the "very diverse
feedstock used to produce the compost."
    Remi Cohen, Winegrower, at Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa, says, "The
compost supplies our vineyards with organic matter and macro and micro
nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and other humic and folic acids
- organic acids that the grape vine needs."
    "Composting is much better than inorganic fertilizers," Cohen
says. "We by far prefer compost because it is not toxic to the soil.
Fertilizer often contains inorganic salts, which can create toxicity
in the soil and sometimes render plant nutrients unavailable. Also,
organic material can help aerate the soil and help retain water in the
soil, all things that are very valuable to a grape farmer."
    The compost program is made possible through the efforts of three
companies. Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling Company and Sunset
Scavenger Company collect the food scraps and other compostable
materials. Jepson Prairie Organics, (, a
modern compost operation located outside Vacaville, California,
receives the materials and produces the finished compost. All three
companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Norcal Waste Systems, Inc.,
a 100 percent employee-owned company headquartered in San Francisco.
    Jepson Prairie Organics began making compost from the food scraps
of San Francisco restaurants five years ago. Soil blenders, nurseries,
orchards, professional landscapers and farms prefer the unique compost
because it offers so many benefits. Vineyards in Northern California's
wine country began using the compost immediately after the 2002 fall
crush to recondition their soils. For vineyards that also wish to add
lime and gypsum to their soils Jepson Prairie can blend those
materials into the finished compost at the company's modern compost
facility outside Vacaville.

    High-resolution jpeg photos are available for print and electronic
media. To view additional photos of compost application in vineyards
go to -
    Studio quality film clips shot in December are available for
electronic media in Beta and digital formats. These clips show compost
being applied to Madrone Vineyard in Sonoma County and quote vineyard
managers on why they recondition their soils with compost made with
food scraps from San Francisco restaurants.

    Vineyard Managers available to comment on this story:

    Glen Burleigh or Tom Mettocroft
    Buckland Vineyards Management Group
    Napa, California
    Office: (707) 252-1800

    Darek Trowbridge
    Vineyard Manager
    Everett Ridge Vineyards & Winery (organic)
    Healdsburg, California
    (707) 433-1637

    Clarence Jenkins or Linda Hale
    Madrone Vineyard Management
    Sonoma County, California
    Office: (707) 996-4012

    Remi Cohen
    Bouchaine Vineyards
    Napa, California
    (707) 252-9065

    Vineyards using compost produced by Jepson Prairie Organics:

    Bouchaine Vineyards
    Napa, California

    Di Loreto Cellars
    Camron Park, California

    Everett Ridge Vineyards
    Healdsburg, California

    Somerset, California

    Freed Vineyards
    Napa, California

    Madrone Vineyard (Domenici Ranch)
    Glen Ellen, California

    Martinelli Farms, Inc.
    Fulton, California

    Nunns Canyon Ranch
    Kenwood, California

    Red Hen Winery
    Napa, California

    Roger Roessler Vineyards
    Sonoma, California

    Ryan Ranch
    Napa, California

    Sawi Vineyards
    Napa, California

    Tinsely Vineyards
    Napa, California

    Note: A photo is available at URL:


    CONTACT: Norcal Waste Systems, Inc.
             Robert Reed, 415/875-1205 or Cell: 415/606-8183
             Jepson Prairie Organics
             Chris Choate, 707/693-2103 or Cell: 707/249-1702
Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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